Tip: Put a welcome mat on your site to increase conversions

The hard truth is that 70% of your website visitors won't come back. Get their attention right away by throwing a popup with a strong call to action when they land on your site.

Welcome mats are popups that display immediately upon entering a site. If you need to get your visitors' attention fast (and who doesn't?), this can be a powerful way to do it. You can display targeted offers, showcase new products, highlight your best content, invite them to join your email list, and so on. Just make sure that you're adding value. Sure, some visitors still may not like it, but the benefits could outweigh the costs. Take Nature TTL, for example. They used a welcome mat to boost their conversions by over 800%.

More 30-second growth tips?

Every day we share a tiny, bite-sized tip for growing your business. Click here to see more and get Growth Bites in your inbox 👌

  1. 33

    I've always hated these. Sorry. They feel yucky imo.

    1. 1

      Yeah, you're not alone. Welcome mats (and popups in general) aren't for everyone. But for those who don't feel they're too yucky, they can be powerful and worth A/B testing.

      1. 8

        I've always been of the opinion that it's kind of like trying to get to second base on a first date. Nurture your customer with value first, request email when you've built a relationship with them.

        But each to their own. Hard to argue with stats in many cases.

        1. 1

          Hah, well said. Can't argue with adding value first 👍 Perhaps welcome mats are best for warm/returning visitors.

      2. 5

        I disagree and think “worth AB testing” is often a cop-out answer.

        Sometimes you just have to have an opinion on what is right or wrong, what your company stands for, how you want to treat your visitors and customers - and live by those rules.

        1. 1

          AB testing has a cost. "Test everything" is a cop-out posture, because it's unrealistic. To your point @yongfook, you need to have an "opinion", but I'd call that your "vision" in this context. Not your brand mission or company vision, but your vision on what your some specific part of your funnel might look like a few months down the road, and then test your way to that vision to make sure you're backing up your opinion with actual data of what works. Maybe a part of that vision is "we don't do popups" but then that needs to be replaced with something else, right?
          Example: your vision (or goal, if you prefer) is that you want to double your conversion rate of visit-->newsletter signup, and that's going to result in "X" number of new leads based on your existing traffic, and part of that vision might also be that this is going to set up your newsletter as a core part of your conversion funnel... there are more qualitative aspects of this, too... but sticking with the lead conversion metrics, there are a number of different ways you can achieve your vision/goal, welcome mat vs popup vs chatbot vs smart bar; placement (home page vs. education hub); messaging & copy; graphics & color; etc. etc.... And if you don't believe in popups, welcome mats, etc, well then maybe newsletters aren't for you because it's kinda hard to grow your newsletter without asking users their email address.

  2. 10

    Oh, I wish there was a downvote button...

  3. 7

    Careful with this. There's a Google interstitial penalty if you use them on mobile.

    1. 1

      Great point, thanks! Definitely something to keep in mind.

  4. 6

    I hate such popups. I always close them and it doesn't affect my willingness to return. It all depends on a specific website. If I'm interested in the topic, I will come back.

    Say, IH doesn't have any popus and I believe 95% of users are returning users!

    So, it always depends!

    Yes, it works for some sites. It works in the situation when a user visits a website for the first time and not sure if he/she wants to return. So, the popup can be a good way to create a "reminder" sending into their email box.

  5. 4

    Popups that display immediately upon entering a site

    When I get a pop-up as soon as I open a website, I just immediately leave. This is really bad advice in my opinion.

    Even with the link to optin monster, I started reading the article, a huge full-screen pop-up appeared, I left, why would I bother searching for the X button?

  6. 3

    How do you think, I have a landing page https://pingr.io. Here I have a block which says like "Less words, try it now" allowing user to check their site response time from different locations.

    After reading your post I thought about making it a popup instead, where you can put your site and get some results immediately.

    For me it looks like a killer feature for landing page.

    On the other hand I don't want it to annoy people, so I'm thinking about putting it somewhere in the corner.

    1. 2

      Nice landing page! The "Try it now" functionality is really cool, I think it's a great idea to have it front and center. You could do that with a welcome mat. You could also add it at the top of the landing page. And the corner could work, as you said, but then I'd make it sticky. My advice would be to A/B test a few options and see which gets the most meaningful engagement.

  7. 2

    You have to use them right, for them to be effective, and not disrupt the visitor experience.

    If you're driving people to a landing page to redeem an offer, you can use then effectively for that.

    You can also do exit intent vs welcome mat, which can be better, since the visitor is most likely leaving, and why not present an offer of some sort of offer?

    No disrespect to @paulbot, but opt-ins are widely used, so you can't just write them off just because some may not like them.

    You just have to be thoughtful on how you use them, and give the visitor something of value.

  8. 1

    Unprompted popups are some the worst user experience I have ever seen on web.

    The only thing that has been worse than unwelcome popups like this, is when a site starts auto-playing music...

    I am 10x more likely to click away from your site immediately if you throw an unprompted pop-up in my face. Even if this "somehow" magically does not annoy other people, I'd still refuse to do that.

  9. 1

    imagine if IH had a welcome mat

    1. 1

      😲 What do you think would happen?

  10. 1

    I'm considering them as noise. And always try to avoid sites that immediately hit you with an unrelated to your goal of visiting popup. And I always close them without reading.

  11. 1

    I'd say do this cautiously.

    I've seen this work on eCommerce websites, but they usually are running Facebook Ads and the like to drive traffic. At which point, since they are targetted & are there to buy or peruse, they might appreciate these offers.

    1. 2

      These are great points, thanks for weighing in 🙌

      1. 2

        Thanks for keeping the conversation going on growth! 📈📈📈📈📈

  12. 1

    Sure, some visitors still may not like it, but the benefits could outweigh the costs.

    Well, tracking web users via ads has benefits, too. But ad-blockers are making the costs to the advertising industry raise a little bit, not to mention the customer backlash.

  13. 1

    I really like this. Do you have another example of this done well? Maybe @harrydry?

    1. 1

      Off the top of my head, Jeff Bullas has one. I know Appsumo had one for a long time too — the founder mentioned that it was a factor in moving him toward his crazy number of subs (700k+).

      1. 2

        I see, so basically it's like a splash page that slides down after 1 sec with an enticing offer before reading your content. Do you think this might work for a productized service or might be too intrusive? Can't think what to offer besides a discount though

        1. 1

          Yep, that's the gist of it. But it doesn't always look like that example. Some people use a full-page popup, some use small ones. Some fade in, some slide down. Etc. etc.

          It could work for a productized service but you'll have to see if it's right for yours. For example, how warm are your visitors? If they know all about you and the value you provide, hitting them with a discount right away could be a great idea. If they've never heard of you, you'll need to warm them up first. In that case, perhaps you could throw a welcome mat popup with a discount for return visitors only. And then there's your market/audience. How do they feel about popups? Are they motivated by discounts? And so on.

          Your decision will be affected by a huge number of variables. Luckily, you can A/B test to get a clearer idea of the impact. Good luck 👍

Trending on Indie Hackers
After many failed product attempts I bootstrapped a file uploading service to 1K MRR in 6 months - AMA! 52 comments Twitter 101 for Indie Hackers 17 comments Do you crosspost your articles on multiple platforms? 11 comments I built an NFT Guide site. Feedback welcome! 10 comments I've teased this project for a while. Initial thoughts on this landing page? 9 comments Only 30 days! We finished a great Etsy products research tool 7 comments